Yesterday saw the first day of competition at the masters Canoe Marathon World Cup in Denmark. The World Cup will lead into the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships, which start on Friday at the same venue at Lake Bagsvaerd, near Copenhagen.
Australian marathon star Mick Leverett won the K1M 40-44 class in a time of 01:35:16, 3 seconds ahead of second place. Aussie Ben Johnson finished in 16th position in the same category.
The Danes have their heart set on running a memorable event. Spectators and athletes alike are being treated to many forms of entertainment during the competition such as windmill building, ergometer paddle testing, street theatre, local food tasting and making apple peel candy, pan cakes and dumplings. Other unusual activities include ‘hearing about mushrooms’, ‘bring along your rabbit and watch rabbit jumping’, ‘try the canoe swing’ and ‘watch bees.’
A large Australian team competed today in the masters events. Mark Rikard was the first to start, finishing 44th in the K1M 50-54 age category.
Next off was Margi Bohm who finished 6th in the K1W 50-54 class, competing on a 17.2km course of 4 laps. Margi’s time of 01:38:24 was 2 minutes 37 seconds behind 1st place Kari Ofstad of Norway, who finished in a time of 01:33:59.
As the day progressed the Australians finished higher on the results list. Judy Darbyshire came close to winning a medal in the K1W 55-59 class, also on the 4 lap course. Judy’s time of 01:48:49 was 7 minutes and 51 seconds behind winner Eva Berglund-Lindbäck of Sweden, and only 3 seconds behind 3rd place.
Dianne Chellew took the bronze in the K1W 60-64 class in a time of 02:04:45, 18 minutes and 3 seconds behind 1st position Ruth Anker Scales of Denmark.
In the C1M 60-64 class, Roger French went one better and won silver, also on the 4 lap course. French’s time of 02:01:34 was 7 minutes and 25 seconds behind 1st place Vladimir Lenfeld of the Czech Republic.
In the C1M 40-44 age category Rain Metsoja was close to a medal, in 4th position with a time of 1:34:36. First place went to Hennadiy Vorobyov (GER) who won in 01:29:48
The K1M 60-64 class was won by Melvin Swallow of Great Britain in a time of 1:27:04. Peter Martin was the highest ranked Aussie in the class, in 7th position (01:29:30) followed by Terry Poole in 13th (1:34:26)
In the K1M 45-49 Cameron McGill finished first of the Australians, in 14th position. The next Australian in line was Darren Lee in 36th, followed by Bennett Maxwell in 43rd.
Today (Thursday) will see the masters K2 & C2. In the 50-54 K1W class Margi Bohm will team up with South Africa Hild Lapere and Dianne Chellew will paddle with Kirsi Ehoniemi of Finland.
The remaining Australian teams are as follows:
Roger French +Jason Nejman
Cameron McGill + Ben Johnson
Darren Lee + Johan Dahl (SWE)
Mark Rikard + Steven Wort (USA)
The junior and under-23 individual competitors will race on Friday. The junior men and U23 women will complete 5 laps of the course, paddling 21.5km. Junior women will complete 4 laps at 17.2km and U23 men will complete 6 laps/25.8km.
The junior double event will take place on Saturday, followed by the senior individual events in the afternoon.
Jnr K2M (5 laps, 21.5km)
Jak Bain + Coran Longwood
Logan Dutton + Casey Haynes
Junior K2W (4 laps, 17.2km)
Bronwyn Martin + Kayla Whinray
K1W (6 laps, 25.8km)
C1M (6 laps, 25.8km)
K1M (7 laps, 30.1 km)
Finally, the senior double events will take place on Sunday, when two Australian crews will race.
C2M (6 laps, 25.8km)
Jason Nejman + Roger French
Bennet Maxwell + Dale Thomson